Think of me as a Refinery

What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?

I had three different reactions to this #reverb10 prompt (the last one of the year).  My first was echoing what many reverbers have been saying, and I think Dr. Crazy summed it up best:

Jesus H. Christ.  I’m just going to pretend that the whole “core story” business is not part of this prompt, because if I have a core story (and I’m not saying that I do, because eewww) I certainly don’t think that’s public property and I don’t intend to share it with the world.

I love what the internet is and can be, but I also learned long ago that I would rather all of my private thoughts stay my private thoughts.

But then my second thought was that my first thought was such a cop-out.  I totally understand not sharing.  My thoughts are not always public property.  But in the deep recesses of my mind, I just didn’t really want to have to think about my core story.  It’s the last day of the year, things are happening, and it would be easy to take the easy way out.  I could get really deep and share some pretty personal stuff or I could stay relatively shallow and come up with some sort of fun story to finish off 2010 with.

My third, and final, thought was, “Just do it”.  So that’s where I am now.  As I’ve been writing this I’ve realized what my core story is.  It didn’t take a whole lot of digging, as it truly is the essence of me.  It is the secret to understanding how I think and what I am.

Unfortunately, there is no way that I would be able to explain it all in one post.  But I’ll try.

Sometime over the summer, my office had someone in another department come over to our department and do some sort of team testing to see what roles we played within our department “team”.  I am simplifying here for the sake of brevity, but there were four different outcomes of the type of person you played on a team.  There was the big idea person, the person who promoted the cause, and the person that got things done.  I was in none of those categories (though, I do tend to slide more towards the executor side).

I am a Refiner.

What does that mean, refiner?  Well, it basically means that at the heart of me, I question things.  If you say that we need to have a big party for this celebration, I immediately think of how we can get to the details.  Do we need a tent?  How many people will we invite?  Do we need food?  It’s kind of like being a details person, but not exactly.

It basically means that it takes more effort for me to be a cheerleader for a cause, or to just brainstorm ideas without nitpicking them than it does for me to think about where things can go wrong.

Though I am a refiner, I’ve never liked being put in that box.  I don’t enjoy the fact that I refine all the time.  I am constantly checking myself to not do this as my first instinct.  Being a refiner has it’s place, but I try to keep it in it’s place as much as possible.

Obviously, this little team exercise isn’t the be all end all of me.  I can be any of the other three roles, but at my core, this is what I am.


It has been a pleasure interacting with the #reverb10 crew.  I have enjoyed reading responses to the prompts when I’ve had the time.  Have a safe and happy New Year!  See you in 2011!

Note: This is my final response to the #reverb10 prompt (which just happens to be the last day of the year). #reverb10 is  an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Core Story.  What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?  (Bonus: Consider your reflections from this month. Look through them to discover a thread you may not have noticed until today.) (Author: Molly O’Neill)

Food for Thought

What is the most memorable gift that I’ve received this year?

My very first thought was the gift of health (for me, my family, and my friends), but I think that’s a cop-out, as no one bestowed that upon me.  I think I am going to start with the definition of a gift so that we are all on the same page.  Here’s the definition that I’m going with, from

gift – noun
1. something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

As I think back on the year, the most memorable gift that I’ve received (and Christmas/Birthday gifts are disqualified because of the recentcy of those events)… has been vegetables.

“Vegetables?” you ask.  Yes.  Vegetables.

My friend Alissa would bring me vegetables from her parents garden; zucchinis, cucumbers, peppers, squash, and tomatoes.  As health has been a big theme for me this year, being given vegetables was a great gift for me.  In fact, “health” probably should have been my word of the year.

She also knew I would enjoy them, so there was a purpose behind the act of giving.  And I DID enjoy them!  Very much!  I wish I had pictures of them, as they were beautiful vegetables.  No pesticides.  Just home grown, straight from the earth, veggies.  They taste so much better when they are fresh.

One more day of #reverb10.  It’s been fun and I am looking forward to this last prompt.  I hope it’s a good one!

Note: This is my response to the #reverb10 prompt for December 30. #reverb10 is  an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Gift.  This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable.  What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year?”

Defining Moment of 2011?

Oh boy, the #reverb10 prompt today hard.

I’ve thought and thought and thought about it.  I still have nothing.  Sure, I could come up with some way to avoid the question and say that I’ve had so many.  But to pick just ONE?!  But I will.  Just watch me go…

Back in June, I took hold of the opportunity to see and work out with one, Tony Horton.  This was the defining moment for me in 2010.

Why?  Why would meeting Tony Horton be the DEFINING moment in 2010 for me?  Am I just someone who gets my excitement from meeting famous people?

It goes deeper than any of that.  This was the year that I got really serious about maintaining myself.  I worked out hard, I ate very clean, and made some positive steps in maintaining my good habits.  But I also started a business as well with Beachbody, the company that Tony works for.

But why would meeting Tony define my year?

It was a moment of rising and moving on (it doesn’t show in the cropped picture above, but Tony is on his tiptoes), for the people around me.

It is no secret that P90X is huge right now.  But 2010 was the year that it REALLY hit the main stream.  Tony also has a book out right now.  So his year was on the up and up.

This happened with many people around me.  So many people have been climbing the ladder of life while I felt like I’ve stayed pretty stagnant all year.  It is kind of depressing to think about, but hopefully I will kick it up a notch in 2011.

Note: This is my response to the #reverb10 prompt for December 29. #reverb10 is  an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Defining Moment.  Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year.”

Here’s to Achieving in 2011

2011 is going to be a great year.  I plan on accomplishing a lot this year, but as of right now I don’t know what those things are going to be.  But a I do know that I am going to do three things:

LA La Land

I WILL make it out to LA to visit my best friend.  Mark it down folks.  Although I don’t have a ticket yet, I’m making it happen.

I’m finally going to pay off my student loans in early 2011 (if all goes to plan), and I will finally have some extra cash to spend and make some more trips.  I don’t have any excuse either, as I have a ton of time saved up at work to take off.  My buddy just needs to find a good weekend as he is a little busy.

This will feel great.  It is always fun getting together with him.  I feel obligated to go.  So once I get there, I’ll be able to not feel bad every time the topic comes up.

My Personal CareerBuilder

Professionally, I will come a little closer to what I want to do next.  Whether that involves heading down the path that I am already on, taking the fork in the road, or walking along the median and kind of do both.  It’s been 30 years, and I am going to make some sort of decision in this area, meaning, I’m ready to kick it into high gear.

Building Foundations

I definitely plan on continuing to build relationships.  Interacting with other people is what makes my world go round.  There is going to be a lot of change in this area in the coming year (at least within my day to day dealings with people) as I foresee and have already seen a few people move on to other greener pastures.  I am going to have to get to know a whole new batch of people.

Not that I feel that different from being 29, but 30 definitely is a milestone event.  It has gotten me thinking about where I’ve been and where I want to go.  I need to be more serious about my romantic relationships.  I have very much enjoyed my time with the people who I have spent it with, but I definitely need to pump the gas a little in these relationships.  I’ve been idling a lot recently, and I don’t really like that feeling.  It also doesn’t give the other person in the relationship a happy feeling either.  There needs to be some more forward progress.

If there are problems or issues, I need to deal with them rather than hope they go away.

Bottom Line

The 3 things that I want to achieve in 2011 are getting out to LA to see my friend, figure out what path I want to take in my career, and build stronger relationships.

Here’s the achieving them!

Note: This is my response to the #reverb10 prompt for December 28. #reverb10 is  an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Achieve.  What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year?  How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it?  Free?  Happy?  Complete?  Blissful?  Write that feeling down.  Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.

It’s All in the Eyes

December 27, 2010 - My Eye

It was just a typical staff meeting.  My staff members were beginning to file in and take a seat.  I was up and around welcoming everyone.

One of my staff members comes through the door with her bag slung over her shoulder.  She is a person whom I’ve known to always be on top of things.  She also kept her emotions very close to the vest, especially around me.  We never really connected much on an emotional level, and it was mostly business between the two of us.  This wasn’t much different, but what was different was in her eyes…


Small moments are what make up our lives.  They happen every day.  A wink, a smile, a pat on the back.  Sometimes, if another person is involved, they may not even know they made your day.

I derive a lot of my joy in my life from other people.  If others are enjoying themselves, I generally do too.  I stay pretty even keeled.  There aren’t many highs or lows.  When others experience the highs, though, I love it.  It makes it even more special when it was from something that I did.

At the end of every year, the professional staff in our office brainstorm some staff members who we would nominate for various awards.  We nominated some of my staff members who I then wrote recommendations for.

Now, back to the Eyes


She said “Thank You!” and then explained that she was thankful that I had nominated her.  The thing that struck me was that this was genuine.  This was not a phony show of thanks.  She was teary eyed.  We hugged, but those eyes told me everything that I needed to know.  She really was thankful and happy that I had nominated her.

To anyone else, this might not have seemed like more than just a small show of thanks, but to me it meant much more.

She ended up winning the award that I nominated her for.

Note: This is my response to the #reverb10 prompt for December 27. #reverb10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “Ordinary Joy.  Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments.  What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?